Maverick Viñales Changes Crew Chiefs, Again - Esteban Garcia Out, Silvano Galbusera In

Maverick Viñales' lackluster 2021 season has caused another casualty. Today, Yamaha announced that his crew chief Esteban Garcia would be leaving his role with immediate effect, to be replaced by Silvano Galbusera. Galbusera was the easy choice, as the Italian veteran is already involved with Yamaha as the crew chief working in the test team, working with Cal Crutchlow to help develop the YZR-M1.

The change has perhaps been predictable. Viñales has been making veiled comments about his team making the wrong decisions during the weekend. After last Sunday's race at Mugello, Viñales criticized the decision to stick with the medium front tire instead of switching to the soft, with which the Spaniard had had a much better feeling on Friday.

"I just went to the medium [front], and then the problems started," Viñales had said on Sunday afternoon. "So I don't know why we didn't try the soft front. So I think we didn't pay enough attention to that, because then in FP1, the first laps, I felt fantastic."

Dropping Esteban Garcia is a remarkable move by Maverick Viñales. Garcia was the crew chief with whom Viñales won his Moto3 title in 2013, and had come to MotoGP at the request of Viñales to replace the experienced veteran Ramon Forcada for the start of the 2019 season.

Forcada switched to the Petronas Yamaha SRT team where he is crew chief for Franco Morbidelli, and he helped Morbidelli to a second place in the Covid-19-stricken 2020 MotoGP championship.

Garcia's replacement, Silvano Galbusera, is no stranger to the factory Yamaha team. Galbusera was crew chief to Valentino Rossi for five years, coming in to replace Jeremy Burgess after Rossi sacked Burgess at the end of the 2013 season, then making way for Rossi's current crew chief, David Muñoz, at the start of 2019.

Viñales gets another chance to make progress at Barcelona, one of his favorite tracks, and a circuit where he has been fast in the past. The Spaniard will be working with Galbusera at Barcelona from the start of FP1 on Friday.

The press release from Yamaha appears below:


Montmeló (Spain), 3rd June 2021

Yamaha Motor Racing Srl confirm that at the end of the Italian GP Esteban García Amoedo and the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team have mutually agreed to terminate their working relationship with immediate effect.

Following the Italian GP, Esteban García Amoedo and the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team have mutually agreed to end their working relationship with immediate effect. Silvano Galbusera will take over the role of Crew Chief for Maverick Viñales for the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season.

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd, Yamaha Motor Racing Srl, and the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team members take this opportunity to thank Garcia for the time they spent working together and wish him all the best for the future.


Esteban joined our team in 2019. He and Maverick had already worked together before in 2013 and won the Moto3 World Championship that year. We are very grateful to Esteban for his dedication and passion during our time spent together, which led to eleven podiums for Maverick, including four wins, three second places, and four third places. Saying ’Goodbye‘ to one of our crew members is always a sad occasion, but it was a mutual decision based on what‘s best for both parties. We wish Esteban all the best for the future.



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I doubt this will be an improvement. On his day Vinales can be unbeatable, but mentally he is to  fragile. When things don't go his way his patience runs out and eventually blames others in his downwards emotional spiral.


As hard as it can be to admit - sometimes you're the problem. Or as I've told my kids, if you can't identify the idiot in the room, it's probably you. 

It's a shame Yamaha doesn't have a Pere Riba who knows the bike back to front and is able to tell his rider that the bike is fine and to get on with it.

Ascendant Fabio leads to despondent Maverick. Desperation ensues. 

I'd almost kill to know what's been said to the various crew members in private though, pretty sure it will not be what Maverick has been told is happening, over the longer term.

About 5 minutes after I had expressed an opinion that a few MotoGP riders were inclined to blame external factors over their own performance. QED. Given how well Mr Morbidelli has gone with Mr Forcada, one might have hoped that Mr Vinales had first examined his own performance before shuffling the deck chairs - again. 

Made this comment elswhere "Maverick? I hope Mav gets his mojo back with a change of crew cheif, but I doubt it. M. Viñales needs to find some consistency. Not sure how a rider gets more consistent by changing major team members. Near the middle of the season. Good luck to Maverick, I'm doubtful."

Not only has Maverick changed crew chiefs. Yamaha has dumped Estaban Garcia. Yes Viñales crew chief last weekend has lost his job! Ducati style people management.

Will a new person in the role stop Marc Marquez messing with Mav's mind? Maybe.

Vinales is saying that the change wasn't his idea but with him moaning at Yamaha what else could they do (apart from telling him to pull his finger out)?

Could  Garcia have been fed up with his situation too? 

Some have asked how long will Vinales last at Yamaha but with him being 6th last year, 3rd in '19 and 4th in '18, how long will it be before he falls out of favour?

I also wonder why the two crew cheifs didn't swap jobs? Has the crew chief for the test team been announced?

I'm wondering the same thing. Perhaps Garcia felt his position was untenable after MV recent comments and resigned. Alternatively, was probably offered test team but decided not to take it and that's why he's left Yamaha altogether.